Jamie Walling wraps up sophomore season as a team leader

Jonathan Savich, Staff Intern

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Hailing from the twin cities of Normal and Bloomington, Illi., Oakland Univeristy sophomore Jaime Walling found herself falling in love with volleyball on a whim.

Walling had never played competitive volleyball until her mom insisted she try out in the ninth grade. She originally had her mind set on playing college basketball. Now five years later she’s a member of the Oakland volleyball team.

Walling grew up in the footsteps of her sister who played collegiate volleyball at Indianapolis University-Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI).

“She worked so hard and was really good at what she did but she was very humble about it,” Walling said. “Throughout the entire process of whether I wanted to play basketball or volleyball she was very supportive. I wanted to be like her but now that I’m here, I want to be better.”

Walling has been putting up monstrous numbers this year that can be attributed to her work ethic, her teammates and her coaches. She credits these team-leading numbers to her teammates.

She only needed two words to describe her success: “My team.”

Walling didn’t mention anything about herself, she only talked about the team and the coaches, and how they’ve made her a better player. She said being the best version of herself is her ultimate motivation in volleyball, school and life; she wants to push herself to the edge so she can look at herself at the end of the day and say she did everything she could.

After her volleyball career, Walling hopes to work in either accounting or finance, using her accounting major that she is currently pursuing.

“Accounting can be applied to a lot of fields,” Walling said. “I’ve always been a numbers and analytical person.”

Walling is an open a book stating there’s nothing she’s scared to show, which translates well on the court and in real life.

Before every game, Walling likes to listen to music to get pumped and ready. Walling’s favorite genre of music is country, which is contrary to most of the team’s rap music preference.

In her sophomore season Walling is the team leader in kills, and second on the team in blocks. Her teammates report nothing but positive things about her.

“I think that Jamie is an awesome person,” her teammate Aleksandra Malek said. ”Her character is great, she’s always full of energy and she always has a smile on her face. Jamie is very competitive and she is a very good leader she always can make team members feel good even when they make mistakes. She always encourages people to do things their not comfortable with and it’s always easier with her.”

Walling and the volleyball team continue their season Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. at home against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.